Friday, August 19, 2022

Play

A look at lack of representation as a deterrent for young voters; Maine's DOT goes green while Washington state aims to make homes more energy resilient; and a growing momentum for trauma-informed care.

Play

Florida judge says Mar-a-Lago search affidavit should be partially released, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization pleads guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud, and the Biden administration says it's moving monkeypox vaccine production to U.S.

Play

More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

Utah Officials Urged to Approve K-12 Mask Mandates

Play

Friday, August 13, 2021   

SALT LAKE CITY -- As the Delta variant drives a growing number COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in Utah, particularly among young adults and children, officials are being asked to reinstate a mask requirement for all K-12 schools.

After flattening out over the past eight months, state health officials say the Utah daily new-case average is almost 1,000, and most new infections are among the unvaccinated.

Moe Hickey, executive director of Utah Voices for Children, said with no vaccine available for kids under age 12, returning to school without a mask will leave them vulnerable.

"We should be adjusting as new data becomes available," Hickey urged. "And when the 'endgame' bill was passed, our caseloads were heading in the right direction, our hospitalization was heading in the right direction and the vaccine had become available. The new data is our caseloads have gone higher, our hospitalizations are going higher."

Utah legislators passed the so-called "Endgame" bill in March, which took the authority away from school districts to put mask requirements in place. Only County Councils in Utah can vote, based on a local health department request, to require masks in local schools.

Currently, 53% of all Utah residents are fully vaccinated, but Hickey pointed out the number takes a steep drop among younger people.

"[In] terms of vaccination rates for our K-12 population, we're in the 20 [percent] range," Hickey noted. "And that's not going to provide the safety that we need at the moment, until we get those numbers higher and a vaccine becomes available for 12 and under."

Hickey emphasized Voices for Utah Children's mask request is not political, but is based on the latest guidelines from Utah pediatricians, and a set of interim guidelines published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in July.

"We've learned a lot, and what we're learning is that masks definitely had a positive effect on the transmission rates," Hickey asserted. "We're following data and science."

He added to reinstate the mask requirement for all K-12 schools, the Utah Legislature would have to call for a Special Session, and none is planned at the State Capitol.


get more stories like this via email
Earlier this year, nearly 1,300 Minnesotans participated in a new initiative that provides free schooling for people who want to become certified nursing assistants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …


Health and Wellness

Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…

Environment

The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …


A new Indigenous academy in South Dakota, geared for younger students, says it wants the kids to have a deep sense of belonging, higher engagement and motivation. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…

Environment

Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …

hearing aids are not covered under Medicare or most insurance plans. (EdwardOlive/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …

Social Issues

Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…

Social Issues

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021